Red Cross augments RITM supplies to ensure continuous COVID-19 testing operations

Published June 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot

To ensure the unhampered testing for COVID-19 in the country, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) delivered consumables to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Senator Richard Gordon recently authorized the delivery of consumables to the country’s health research facility in an effort to ensure that testing for COVID-19 will continue without any delays.

Philippine Red Cross Chairman Sen. Richard Gordon (PRC / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine Red Cross Chairman Sen. Richard Gordon (PRC / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The more people are tested quickly, the sooner we would be able to ensure victory over COVID-19,” he said.

Gordon said further that if “we unmask the virus hiding inside the people who are infected, we would be able to isolate them and cure them, thus, preventing the further spread of the virus.” This is why “we can’t have the RITM’s operations hampered due to the lack of the necessary NATCH CS items.”

PRC noted that amid the need to test more people in the shortest time possible, the RITM “came close to losing a few days’ testing time this week because the delivery of the consumable items needed for the procedure was delayed due to lack of available (airline) flights.”

Gordon immediately ordered the delivery to the RITM after National Task Force of COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vivencio Dizon sought his help in behalf of the RITM.

“The RITM (was) supposed to receive over the weekend NATCH CS items for its COVID-testing equipment,” Dizon said in a letter dated June 15. “However, the delivery was delayed due to the lack of an available flight from China to Manila [so] for the meantime, in the exigency of service and given the urgency of the matter, may we respectfully request from the Philippine Red Cross the following NATCH CS items be provided to the RITM,” he added.

In response, the PRC provided the following items: 5 mL Sterile tube (336 pieces); 96 Deep well plate (168 pieces); 1000 ul tips (336 racks); and 0.2mL 8-tube PCR strips with flat optical cap (336 bags).

Dizon informed PRC that the said the items will be replaced upon receipt of the delivery from China. According to the Department of National Defense (DND) a flight has already been arranged for this purpose.

Meanwhile, he also thanked Gordon and the PRC for continuing to support the country’s fight against the continued spread of the disease.

In April, the PRC also came to the RITM’s assistance when it had to trim down its operations after several members of its staff tested positive for COVID. The RITM then sent around 1,000 samples for testing to the Red Cross.